Europe chlorine production stable in September - Euro Chlor

19 October 2009 16:27  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--European chlorine production was largely stable in September, rising just 0.4% from the previous month, figures from industry body Euro Chlor showed on Monday.

Chlorine output in September reached 767,145 tonnes, which was 6.8% lower than levels seen in the previous year, the release said.

Average daily chlorine production of 25,571 tonnes in September was also 6.8% lower than September 2008, but this was a marked increase of 3.7% on those levels seen in August.

September caustic soda stocks fell to 241,403 tonnes, which was a 12.8% decrease on August inventory levels, and a fall of 63,391 tonnes compared to September 2008.

The estimated chlor-alkali capacity utilisation in September reached 71.9%, up from 69.3% in August, which many market sources attributed to the traditional slowdown.  

“There was some 41% less caustic soda exported in September compared to August, but stocks still decreased, while [chlor-alkali] operating rates are up,” said a caustic soda supplier, who concluded: “This is a really positive signal for the market that off-take is improving. This will continue into November and beyond as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) [the main downstream use for chlorine] demand falls.”

Although a number of caustic soda buyers had widely conceded that prices would continue to increase due to lower operating output, others felt that suppliers would struggle to push through increases above €25-30/DMT ($37-45/DMT) (dry metric tonne).

“Demand for caustic soda will also tail off, as the market winds down ahead of Christmas,” one consumer said. “Producers will only be able to push minor price increases through, as demand is not strong.”

This year’s Euro Chlor figures were boosted by the introduction of two new companies to the group, which increased the reported capacity by around 2.15% in 2009, Euro Chlor said.

EU 25 + Norway/Switzerland
Production & capacity utilisation

Month

Production (tonnes)

Capacity Utilisation (%)

 

2008

2009

% change

2008

2009
(estimate)

January

920,472

665,891

-27.7%

86.5%

60.4%

February

854,617

740,603

-13.3%

85.9%

74.4%

March

916,402

738,872

-19.4%

86.1%

67.0%

April

874,507

670,349

-23.3%

84.9%

62.8%

May

911,541

764,102

-16.2%

85.7%

69.3%

June

852,078

761,213

-10.7%

82.8%

71.3%

July

909,597

825,731

-9.2%

85.5%

74.9%

August

916,087

764,468

-16.6%

86.1%

69.3%

September

823,480

767,145

-6.8%

80.0%

71.9%

Caustic soda stocks (tonnes)

 

2008

2009

January

274,625

242,588

February

249,762

293,675

March

277,515

352,685

April

260,049

349,259

May

257,559

341,344

June

247,738

304,845

July

264,509

332,600

August

325,034

276,715

September

304,794

241,403

($1 = €0.67)

For more on caustic soda, chlorine or PVC visit ICIS chemical intelligence
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By: Stephanie Wilson
+44 20 8652 3214



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